Special Issue "Chronic Wasting Disease in Wild Cervids"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019) | Viewed by 8556

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Scott C. Williams
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Forestry and Horticulture, Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Box 1106, New Haven, CT 06504, USA
Interests: host–vector ecology; ticks; zoonotic diseases; wildlife
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cases of chronic wasting disease in wild cervid populations are becoming more frequent and widespread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of January 2019, chronic wasting disease has been reported in wild deer, elk, and/or moose in 251 counties in 24 of the contiguous United States as well as two Canadian provinces. Additionally, it has been found in reindeer and moose in Norway and Finland, with South Korea having had reported cases imported into the country. Infection is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion that is passed between animals through bodily fluids and/or shared food, water, or contaminated soil, and it is always fatal. Other related prion diseases are bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”) and Creutzfeldt–Jacob disease in humans. Prions are extremely persistent in the environment and can be viable for many years after being shed from infected animals. While there are no recorded cases of transfer to humans, chronic wasting disease remains a threat and has the potential to be devastating to wild and captive cervid populations.

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide the opportunity to publish all of the existing knowledge and recent investigations in the field of chronic wasting disease in wild and captive cervid. We welcome contributions on the topic in the form of all types of papers. Furthermore, it would be interesting to receive research manuscripts in different areas. We also welcome high-quality papers concerning other diseases related to captive or wild cervid population survival, breeding, and conservation. I am convinced that this Special Issue will be an excellent source of references for everyone who studies deer populations.

Dr. Scott C. Williams
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • cervid
  • chronic wasting disease
  • Creutzfeldt–Jacob disease
  • deer
  • elk
  • mad cow disease
  • moose
  • prion

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Control and Surveillance Operations to Prevent Chronic Wasting Disease Establishment in Free-Ranging White-Tailed Deer in Québec, Canada
Animals 2020, 10(2), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020283 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2363
Abstract
Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a degenerative and fatal prion disease affecting cervids, was detected for the first time in the province of Québec, Canada, in a red deer (Cervus elaphus) farm in the Laurentides region on 10 September 2018. To assess [...] Read more.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a degenerative and fatal prion disease affecting cervids, was detected for the first time in the province of Québec, Canada, in a red deer (Cervus elaphus) farm in the Laurentides region on 10 September 2018. To assess CWD prevalence and control the disease in the free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population, a response plan including enhanced surveillance, population control, regulatory measures, and public outreach was deployed by the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks (MFFP). In the 401 km2 white-tailed deer control area, a total of 750 free-ranging white-tailed deer were culled over 70 days, from 22 September to 15 December 2018. Of the culled deer, 534 were tested for CWD. We also tested for CWD a total of 447 white-tailed deer hunted from the enhanced surveillance zone and 2584 free-ranging white-tailed deer harvested outside this zone. Regulations were applied to prevent the spread of the disease through movements of infected animals harvested by hunters. Although no case of CWD was detected in free-ranging cervids in Québec in 2018, this does not confirm the absence of the disease in these populations. However, the results suggest that if CWD is present, few free-ranging cervids are infected, making it possible to prevent its establishment in the province of Québec. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Wasting Disease in Wild Cervids)
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Article
Revisiting Hunter Perceptions toward Chronic Wasting Disease: Changes in Behavior over Time
Animals 2020, 10(2), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020187 - 22 Jan 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1793
Abstract
Hunter behavior varies in relation to perceived risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and changes in perceptions of CWD will lead to changes in behavior over time. During 2018, we surveyed deer (Odocoileus virginianus or Cervus nippon) hunters from Maryland, USA, [...] Read more.
Hunter behavior varies in relation to perceived risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and changes in perceptions of CWD will lead to changes in behavior over time. During 2018, we surveyed deer (Odocoileus virginianus or Cervus nippon) hunters from Maryland, USA, regarding behavioral changes due to CWD. We matched 477 respondents to their harvest record and created two geographical groups based on harvest history in counties closest to disease presence. We compared the proportion of hunters who claimed to have changed their behavior in each group and estimated the effects of CWD on harvest rate for the 4 years immediately after the discovery of CWD and the following 4-year period. We found no difference between the groups in the proportion of hunters who changed their behavior due to CWD. We found a significant decline in harvest rate for hunters who claimed to change their behavior in the group closest to CWD presence during the period immediately after the discovery of CWD; however, these same hunters increased their harvest rates in the next time period to pre-CWD levels. Overall, we found that time alleviates some perceived risk of CWD and that this is reflected in hunting behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Wasting Disease in Wild Cervids)
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Article
Partnering with Taxidermists for Improved Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121113 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a neurodegenerative disease of cervids caused by a misfolded protein called a prion. This disease affects captive and free-ranging deer, moose, elk, and reindeer, and has been detected in 26 states. Cervids infected with CWD may be asymptomatic [...] Read more.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a neurodegenerative disease of cervids caused by a misfolded protein called a prion. This disease affects captive and free-ranging deer, moose, elk, and reindeer, and has been detected in 26 states. Cervids infected with CWD may be asymptomatic for months or years. In most areas, older male deer have higher prevalence rates. Prior to 2013, CWD surveillance in New York State focused on testing samples of convenience, by collecting deer heads from meat processors. However, this sampling was biased because many of the heads from older male deer were taken to taxidermists to be mounted. In 2013, the Taxidermy Partnership Program (TPP) was created to train taxidermists to collect CWD samples, and to increase the proportion of older male deer submitted for CWD testing. Added benefits include improved communication with taxidermists and increased awareness about CWD. Trained taxidermists were able to successfully collect and submit tissue samples with few errors. Participating taxidermists were paid for viable samples. Currently, there is a stable number of taxidermists that participate each year. This program has proven to be a valuable resource for obtaining high-value CWD samples for the wildlife agency, requiring a minimal amount of funding and time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Wasting Disease in Wild Cervids)
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Article
The Effect of Chronic Wasting Disease on Resident Deer Hunting Permit Demand in Wisconsin
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121096 - 07 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has had a negative impact on deer license demand in Wisconsin since it was first found in the state in 2002. Prior work evaluates the effect of CWD on hunting permit sales, but only in the period immediately after [...] Read more.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has had a negative impact on deer license demand in Wisconsin since it was first found in the state in 2002. Prior work evaluates the effect of CWD on hunting permit sales, but only in the period immediately after the disease was discovered. We use data on hunting permit sales, permit price, and other demand shifters to estimate a model of deer permit demand for the period 1966–2015. We use the estimated model to quantify the effect of CWD on (1) hunter demand for deer permits; (2) hunter surplus from hunting; and (3) lost hunting permit revenues. Hunter participation declined by 5.4% after CWD was detected in 2002. Hunter surplus decreased by $96 million over this period, while permit revenues declined by nearly $17 million. The effect of CWD was greater on demand for firearm permits than for archery permits. We also find that the effects of CWD diminish over time in absolute terms. This is because permit demand would have started to decline in 2008 even in the absence of CWD. This finding implies efforts to control CWD and efforts at hunter recruitment are economic complements and should be pursued jointly to maximize hunter welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Wasting Disease in Wild Cervids)
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